Private truffle forays and ethically-harvested canine-detected wild Oregon truffle
Umami Truffle Dogs, LLC specializes in truffle forays and the harvesting of wild culinary truffles indigenous to the Pacific Northwest. We also offer truffle sales and surveys of truffle-producing properties. Our truffles are sought after by celebrated chefs and fine food establishments.Our premium truffles are delivered to you at their aromatic peak.
We currently have four expert truffle dog teams working throughout the central coastal and Willamette Valley regions of Oregon, the very heart of the Pacific Northwest wild truffle country.
- Kris Jacobson, the founder of Umami Truffle Dogs, along with her Belgian Malinois, Ilsa, are among the world’s most experienced professional truffle dog teams. Kris is a native Oregonian, but has also lived in Virginia and Northern California. She has an unbridled passion for wild Oregon truffles. Kris and Ilsa live in the southern Willamette Valley, outside of Eugene.
- John Getz has been foraging truffles and other fungi in the Pacific Northwest for over thirty years. He harvests truffles with his Labrador, Chloe. John’s expertise in the field is second to none. He and Chloe live and work in the beautiful central coast area, near Florence, Oregon.
- Kelly Babbitt and her Labrador, Goose, are working on their second truffle foraging season and have accumulated a number of impressive truffle finds. Kelly is currently training a second dog, a young Wirehaired Pointing Griffon puppy named Louie. Kelly, Goose and Louie are our northern most Willamette Valley team and live near McMinnville, Oregon.
- Michael Baines and his rescued Belgian Malinois cross, Lulu, have two seasons under their belts as a truffle hunting team. Michael is a native Oregonian and formally called the Napa Valley region of California his home. He is a professional potter, an avid mushroom hunter, foodie, pastry chef and wine connoisseur. Michael and Lulu live on a small farm in the southern Willamette Valley.
We have successfully harvested:
- Oregon winter white truffles (Tuber oregonense)
- Oregon spring white truffles (Tuber gibbosum)
- Oregon black truffles (Leucangium carthusianum)
- Oregon brown truffles (Kalapuya brunnea)
- Pecan truffles (Tuber lyonii)
- French black (Perigord) truffles (Tuber melanosporum)
Why use a dog to hunt truffles?
Using a canine team to locate truffles is the only ethically responsible and sustainable way to harvest these culinary gems. UTD would never employ the indiscriminate “raking” methods used by most truffle harvesters. (See sidebar.) The vastly superior canine olfactory senses are able to distinguish the scent of a ripe truffle from that of an immature, unripe truffle. A canine will also pinpoint the exact location of a ripe truffle, thus creating minimal disruption of the mycelium within the soil of the delicate forest ecology, and insuring the preservation of future generations of truffles.
Umami Truffle Dogs Make Oregon Agricultural History!
On February 28th, 2013, while working in a southern Willamette Valley truffiere, Kris and Ilsa discovered the first-ever successfully cultivated French black Périgord truffle (Tuber melanosporum) grown on the west coast of North America. A sample of the truffle, microscopically examined by Dr. Charles LeFevre of New World Truffieres, Inc., was positively identified as a French black Périgord.
What does Umami mean?
Um-a-mi noun \ü-ˈmä-mē\
For centuries, scientists and gourmets in the Western world recognized four elements of taste — sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Then, in 1908, Tokyo Imperial University researcher Kikunae Ikeda identified a fifth element. He named it “umami,” a Japanese word loosely interpreted as “delicious” or “savory.” Because truffles contain three distinct umami substances — in the form of glutamate, inosinate, and guanylate — they rank among the world’s top culinary delicacies. Truffles are relished as much for their aroma as they are for their taste. And — because they’re very difficult to cultivate — they’re equally famous for commanding high prices.